For enterprises, implementing new software development processes like DevOps and continuous integration/continuous deliver, or CI/CD, means giving application developers a more agile, responsive and efficient cloud infrastructure.
For cloud operators, however, delivering that infrastructure can be a big challenge.
AppFormix recently joined with Rackspace in a webinar addressing the challenges operators face in delivering a DevOps-friendly infrastructure.
Kicking off the webinar was Rackspace Senior Director of Product Management Bryan Thompson, who leads the product team for Rackspace private cloud. Powered by Openstack, the world’s de facto standard for Infrastructure as a Service, Rackspace’s private cloud offers a single platform for managing containerized apps, virtual apps and bare metal apps across private, public and hybrid clouds.
Rackspace essentially offers “OpenStack as a Service” and simplifies for customers the process of setting up, configuring, monitoring and scaling OpenStack.
Rackspace is dedicated to supporting new software development processes like DevOps and CI/CD, Bryan said; the goal is to enable self-service capability for developers and eliminate the traditional bottlenecks encountered when allocating resources for testing, deployment and production at scale. The key to accomplishing this goal is helping operators overcome performance-hampering challenges of cloud management. He gave three examples of such challenges.
- Very short life cycles of compute instances — Operators are adapting to a new paradigm managing “cloudy” and container-based workloads and volatile virtual machines. Applications and tiers of this cloud-native model are designed to scale up and grow very rapidly, then be torn down when not needed. In these agile environments, especially when using containers, application life cycles may be only minutes long. The life cycles of compute instances can be so short, in fact, that traditional monitoring tools are insufficient — the instance has come and gone before it can even be monitored and reported, especially if human intervention is required. Automated, real-time monitoring is needed to provide accurate, useful and actionable insight into these workloads.
- Limited visibility to demand for capacity planning — With dynamic, versatile workloads to manage, operators need to be proactive in guaranteeing certain levels of service, availability and performance to their end customers. They need reliable capacity planning tools that offer visibility into all resources in the cloud stack to help predict when and where additional resources will be needed, before constraints occur.
- Lack of access to real-time telemetry and performance data of physical and virtual infrastructure — In a DevOps world, the ability to deliver the experience end users demand requires infrastructure transparency of the entire cloud stack—down to the processor level. Operators need access to this information, of course, but also they need to be able to share it with developers so developers may consume infrastructure analytics within their applications and schedule workloads to achieve maximum performance.
Fortunately, through its partnership with AppFormix, Rackspace is able to address these challenges and more. The AppFormix cloud service optimization platform is now built in to every Rackspace private cloud, empowering operators with a data-driven cloud and all of its game-changing benefits.
DevOps benefits from data-driven private clouds
Also during our webinar, we explored how a data-driven cloud offers powerful solutions.
First, let’s define “data-driven cloud.” A data-driven cloud is one that uses real-time, continuous analysis and measurement against totally customizable and configurable SLAs. An example is Rackspace Private Cloud, which now includes the AppFormix cloud service optimization platform that delivers all of the game-changing benefits of a data-driven cloud.
With a data-driven cloud, operators have the ability to:
Know which parts of their infrastructure are healthy and which are not
AppFormix provides real-time monitoring of every aspect of the cloud stack, right down to the processor level. This includes visibility into every virtual and physical resource at your disposal. The user-friendly interface and customizable dashboard provide a comprehensive list of metrics based on industry best practices. SLAs are completely configurable.
Empower developers with visibility and control
AppFormix offers a dashboard that operators can share with developers via a self-service user experience. Developers then have access to process-level monitoring, with real-time and historical views of their resources and the ability to drill down to deeper and deeper levels of specificity about performance. Both operators and developers can create project-level reports with a click; the report content and the recipients are customizable, and data can be exported in any format. In addition, operators and developers have access to advanced alarming and notification capabilities and can establish static and dynamic thresholds based on their preferences.
Make well-informed capacity decisions
With AppFormix, operators know the true capacity levels of their infrastructure, any time and all the time. AppFormix also enables operators to model potential changes to see what impacts will be on capacity, availability and performance.
If this sounds great on a theoretical level, below are some “real-life” examples of what a DevOps-ready private cloud can do.
- Troubleshoot when a user is experiencing slowness;
- Real-time notification of events;
- Maximize infrastructure ROI using utilization reports;
- Determine if there is capacity for a new or expanding project;
- Improve availability with configurable policy for SLA.
To learn even more, check out our on-demand webinar, Making Your Private Cloud DevOps Ready with AppFormix and Rackspace.